We Are Family – Get Up Everybody and SING!
Things becoming a bit of a tight squeeze, or perhaps a (very) cool breeze on the home front these days?! Everyone in the house starting to climb the walls? Time to change it up and charge it up! Here are a few easy things to change up the energy in your space right now:
- Creativity Corner! – Have a designated area or room in the house that is for creativity and creativity only! To be in that space, the only requirement is the willingness to let your imagination run wild – and that includes YOU parents! Things have shifted and we all have a little kid inside of us waiting to come out. Unleash your inner child and let that imagination go. Your kids will LOVE it and who knows? It may spark something new with your work projects too.
- Field Trip Friday – Have a different theme each day of the week. Magic Monday, Transformation Tuesday, Wild Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Field Trip Friday, Superhero Saturday, Soulful Sunday…you get the idea! Create a different theme for each day of the week and take turns planning something fun! For example, Field Trip Friday could be building a fort in the living room or setting up a tent in the backyard to go “camping.” If you’re feeling really adventurous and have a bit of spending money, do a virtual field trip with a llama or a goat (available on line right now for rent!). Go to www.sweetfarm.org to set up a Goat 2 Meeting.
- Reader Bee – Create a buzz around the house. See who can read the most books or who reads a book beyond their reading level, and create some kind of a fun reward. Or depending on the age range in the house, create a book club and have the whole family read the same book, and have a different person lead the discussion about it at the dinner table each night. Buzz buzz!
- Thank Goodness for Chef Boyardee – We are all home now, and as a result, it is a great time to develop new life skills. Have each family member be responsible for a meal each night of the week (or just rotate). Whoever is responsible for that night’s meal chooses it ahead of time and ensures all required ingredients are gathered. For the little ones, they can work with you to choose something and be your sous-chef. Give them an apron and some duties and make them feel special!
- Brain Breaks – Just like it sounds, brain breaks are a quick break from whatever you or your child are focusing on. The goal is to help your brain shift focus, and this can be accomplished by moving around (stretching, jumping jacks, running in place, rocket ship jumps etc), or actively sitting still and just feeling your heartbeat. This is good for reducing stress and frustration, and increasing productivity and attention. For more info, go to https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/learning-at-home/homework- study-skills/brain-breaks-what-you-need-to-know
- Scream, and Shout, and Let It All Out! – Ha ha, this may make some parents cringe when you read it, but hear me out! Create a “high energy zone” in your house – somewhere that the kids can go to really let it rip! Let’s get real – they’re already doing it anyway, so why not create a little structure around it (when possible). This could be in your backyard, the media room, or maybe the garage. Pick a zone and designate a time of day for this, just like being in gym class. There are also free online PE classes for kids of all ages, by the way. Check out The Body Coach TV (Joe Wicks) on YouTube for free classes M-F 9 am GMT.
- Say Anything – It’s a paaaaarty! A pizza parrrrrty! Pyjama parrrrrrty! Anything parrrrty! Whether it be struttin’ your stuff in a fashion show down the hallway, an awards gala in your living room, a dance off, a video game challenge or a karaoke contest, designate one day a week for an “anything goes” party together. Some of the older kids may drag their feet a bit on this at first, but have them choose something they want to do and get them on board. It will be a fun way to change it up and do new things together!
- TFTs – This is what Brene Brown refers to as a “Terrible First Time” (or FFTs for adults…I’ll let you fill in the blanks for the first ‘F’). True to it’s name and as we are all being reminded right now, new can be hard and uncomfortable. Homeschooling, learning new technology, working full time and being on parent duty 24/7 – TFTs are everywhere. Mostly as we get older we try and avoid these, but that’s when you stop taking risks (and so will your kids). As Brene says: “embrace the suck of the new!” Start by naming when you or your kids are in a TFT and remind yourself it won’t last forever. This helps take the charge out of the frustration when learning and dealing with new things. Listen to her ‘Unlocking Us’ podcast for more on this at https://brenebrown.com/podcast/brene-on-ffts/
- Office Space – Set up a work area for your kids in your office or close to your work space. They obviously won’t stay there all day, but have them work next to you for a designated amount of time each day. Have it be educational (like helping you source four products for a pitch you’re working on, for example). Make them feel important and included. After all, at the end of the day, time and attention is all they really want!
10. Game ON! – Create some type of competition to have everyone active. For example, if you have an elliptical, stair climber, treadmill etc., see who can log the most time over two weeks. Or you could do a push-up or sit up competition. Or maybe create a little workout circuit that everyone does, with different stations throughout the room/house. Be creative and Sweat. It. UP! Families that sweat together stay together.
“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning” – Gloria Steinam
Written by: Cindy Gilles